Sunday, April 24, 2011

Science Fair Samples

Thankfully I managed to have a very productive and fun weekend.  I finished the business plan for my e-commerce class (woooooo hoooo!) and baked lots of samples for the Venture Creation Challenge I am being forced to participate in this Friday at UMKC.   

As part of my grade in the e-commerce class, I am required to participate in this convention-esque shindig at school where they trot us entrepreneurship students out onto stage to do 30-second pitches for our companies.  Then they have us assigned to tables throughout the convention hall with tri-fold displays like a third grade science fair.  Judges go around and, well, judge us.  15 winners advance... blah blah blah.  It's making me tried just typing about it.

My whole strategy is to stuff the judges so full of cookies they don't care about my business plan's lack of coherent financial ratios or that I decided a tri-fold display was a waste of time and resources. :D


Organic Vanilla Bean Shortbread

Organic Rosemary Shortbread

Peanut Butter samples and some others wrapped for delivery 
the kitchen smelled like peanut butter and lilac on Saturday :)

some old photos I came across on my boyfriend's hard drive...

...he's such a talented photographer when it comes to photos of the kids.

i can't ever get them to stay still.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DIY Donuts & Starbucks!

Saying that I'm on a budget right now is an understatement.  I'm broke!  Working for a not-for-profit is really starting to take its toll on my bank account.  Good food is my only "splurge".  I REFUSE to eat like crap, because then I'll feel like crap.  In trying to watch my food budget, however, I'm trying to cut back on those little costs that add up:  like snacks on the fly and my Starbucks iced tea habit.

Last month I cracked the Starbucks code -- Shaken Green Tea = TAZO "Zen" on ice. 

This wasn't hard to figure out, as they sell the tea bags right in the store!  wish i'd noticed that sooner.

The donuts came to life last night when I found a recipe for Jelly Donut Cupcakes in Veganomicon.  I love this cookbook!  It's all vegan recipes but it is so much better than any straight vegetarian cookbooks I have found...sometimes I just fudge (mmmm, fudge) on the strict vegan aspects of the recpies.  Not suprisingly, my meat-eater friends are fans as well.

Anyway, the "donuts" turned out great, but I have a hard time calling something a cupcake when it doesn't have here's the recipe for Jelly Donut "Muffcakes"....ENJOY!

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup grape jelly  --use the CHEAP STUFF (yields more "realistic" results)
  • powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350ยบ.   Grease and flour a cupcake tin (12).

Add the soy milk, cornstarch and vinegar to a small cup or bowl and mix until the cornstarch is dissolved. 

Then, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.  Create a little dent in the middle of the dry ingredients.  Remix the soy milk mixture, and add it to the dent in the flour mix.   
Add the oil, sugar, and vanilla.  Mix everything together until well combined.

Then fill those cupcake tins 2/3rds of the way with the mixture.  Drop TEAspoonfuls of jelly in the middle. 

Bake 21-23 minutes.  Tops will be firm and jelly will sink into the cake.

Cool and remove from the tins.  When cooled completely, dust with powdered sugar.

Enjoy w/in safe distance from police station with your fake Starbucks Iced Tea :)

Also, a big thank you to fellow blogger, Lauren Alexander, for including Donut Girl in her blog.  Visit her Etsy store for super cute water color paintings from a talented Kansas City artist.

Monday, April 11, 2011

this and that

*sigh*  I feel like such an inattentive blogger.  I wish I could say that I have been SOOO busy baking, that I haven't had time to think about taking photos or blogging, but sadly I have been either busy with end-of-the school-semester nonsense or fighting a head cold.  I actually took a sick day today for the first time in a year, so I figured I'd take the bed-ridden opportunity to try to make up for my inattentiveness.  Here's what I've been doing:

1.  Business cards and labels on order, FINALLY!



2.  Organized a trade with fellow KC user Lauren Alexander.  She is a wonderful water color artist who gave me an adorably tiny painting of a couple of polar bears (my favorite man-eaters).  She's going to feature Donut Girl in an upcoming edition of her blog, and I gave her a dozen of my Vanilla Bean Shortbread cookies in return.  yay!

3.  Paint chips!  I am currently obsessed with re-painting practically every room in my house.  When I bought the house in 2005, I went with a lot of warm, dramatic colors...golds and reds to go with the dark woodwork of the craftsman bungalow era.  Since then I have acquired quite a lot of COLOR!  Art, accessories, upholstery...and the result now is just DRAMA OVERLOAD.  So I'm trying to go for more neutral, calm, and cool colors....I can't wait til semester ends and I'll have some time to make it happen.

So, that where I'm at right now.  This week looks to be homework-focused, but next weekend will bring the return of cookies.  I cancelled the orders that we due today because I didn't want to send out germ-y cookies.  Here's my sick day partner, Gary, and  what I will dub an "apology recipe" for my lack of baking-related content...... ENJOY!   xo

GARY - keepin' me company
In celebration of the return of warm weather I give you my dad's recipe for ice cream....if you have an ice cream maker, this is a MUST this summer - use the recommended cardamom listed at the bottom.  Unexpected and sooo good!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The end of a Taz groom's cake

Oh, man.  Last week was tense, but I managed to pull off 2 major things:  finishing the Taz cake AND officially re-launching the Donut Girl Etsy store!  woo hoo!

First off, the Taz cake was quite the harrowing process.  The groom is a drummer with a *ahem* Taz tattoo ripping out of his upper arm, drumsticks in hand.  I believe it predates 1990 and was done in the back of an old Trans Am.  At least that's my theory.  Hi Billy!

It was my first attempt at a 3D cake design, and I was nervous to say the least.  All I wanted was to NOT end up on   The Taz figure ended up being the easiest part of the process, next to baking the actual cake.  The difficulty came in assembling the drum and getting it to look somewhat like the groom's actual snare drum.  Here's the finished product:

I am very happy with how it turned out, and it stayed in one piece for the whole evening.  The bride and groom were very happy with it as well, so I really couldn't ask for more.  Yay!

In regards to the Donut Girl Etsy store.... if you aren't aware, I am now offering DG cookies for sale online that CAN BE SHIPPED!  Woo hoooo!  I have 3 vegan options; 6 total.  There is also a 10% off code you can score on the DG facebook page too, so get shopping!  If you are a KC local, there is also an option to pick up your order at my KC address.  Just enter code "4LOCALPU" when you order.  Here's a couple of the guys you'll find for sale:

Happy monday.